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GP Week : Issue 157
BETTI IN BOTHER Italian driver Luca Betti, currently third in the 2012 FIA European championship, was banned from starting the ERC Rally Bulgaria hours before the start. Four days before the start local photographers, who had been conducting their private recce for photo locations, spotted Betti driving a private car on stages on a day not perrmitted for competitor recce. They took a picture of him at a readily recognisable location, where a special stage passes close to a motor way, and posted it on the www.bgnrc.info website. Sadly the rally lost a major contender, as Betti had been the only driver lying in the top 10 places in the series who had entered the event. The rally itself was led start to finish by Skoda Fabia S2000 driver Dimitar Iliev ahead of Peugeot 207 S2000 driver Petar Gyoshev. . WRC CRISIS CONTINUES Hope for an early declaration by the FIA of a definitive 2013 WRC calendar now rest with the World Motor Sport Council meeting on 15 June. Last week Nicolas Deschaux, the President of the French federation, FFSA, promoters of the Rallye de France, sent an open letter to Jarmo Mahonen, the President of the World Rally Championship Commission, stating that the WRCC’s handling of the calendar selection process (outlined in GPWEEK last week) was “completely unacceptable” . The federation threatened to “contest and denounce” the WRCC’s procedure, which offered a guarantee of championship status to an event if they committed themselves within 11 days to increase their fees by an extra Euro 100,000. To be sure of a place in the 2013 WRC calendar, this commitment had to be given to the FIA by 8 June. No statement of intentions from other individual rally organisers has been issued, several organisers being in the invidious position of also being members of the WRCC in whose name Jarmo Mahonen is acting. The FIA-owned championship website WRC.com has been silent on the issue. It is believed that none of the established organisers committed themselves before the deadline. The United Business company has announced their support for Australian lady rally driver Molly Taylor, arranging a four-event rally programme, starting with the Geko Ypres ERC and IRC Rally, and ending with WRC starts in Finland and Germany. The company is based in Italy and Croatia, the car is a Citroen DS3 R3. United Business began their rally involvement in Italy working with Andrea Dallavilla and Piero Longhi before moving internationally to help twice European champion Luca Rossetti win a third title in 2011. This year they are also supporting the Italian Alessandro Perico and the Lotus R-GT rally project with Portuguese driver Bernando Sousa. MOLLY TAYLOR GETS ERC/IRC DEAL 14 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: WRC >>> NEWS